The Authority is sponsoring the Santa Clara County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) and developing the strategy with partner organizations, agencies and the assistance of a consultant team. The RCIS takes into account existing plans and other information, including the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, the Valley Habitat Plan, and the Bay Area’s Conservation Lands Network. It promotes implementation of landscape-scale conservation actions, such as habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement measures including efforts to enhance landscape connectivity for wildlife.
The Santa Clara Valley Climate and Agriculture Preservation Program (CAPP) is a regional land use and economic development strategy to support the local food and farming economy and further climate change mitigation and resiliency by preventing conversion of farmland to urban development. In partnership with the cities of San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy, the Authority and the County are mapping agricultural lands in Santa Clara Valley for conservation and identifying the regional greenhouse gas reduction potential.
This wetland rehabilitation project spans 8.5-acres of the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, restores more than 500-feet of stream and removes a series of agricultural drainage ditches. The restoration reconnects the stream and the upper watershed to the valley floor, thereby allowing the landscape to capture and absorb rainfall and streamflow.
“Restoring these natural resources helps both wildlife and people adapt to climate change—and makes the most out of the landscape’s ability to reduce greenhouse gases in the air, improve water quality, groundwater recharge, and reduce flood risk,” said Jake Smith, the Authority’s Conservation GIS Coordinator, who served as the project’s manager.
Researchers are using advanced technology to track and protect the wildlife that call Santa Clara Valley home. The attachment of radio-collars to bobcats and gray foxes will allow researchers to map and analyze animal movement through Coyote Valley. The findings will provide details on where these animals move, what paths they are using, and which habitats they prefer. This data will enable the Open Space Authority and its partners to make well-informed decisions about where to locate wildlife crossings to provide safe passage for these animals. Check back here for updates and a final report of the study.
The Open Space Authority has accomplished a lot of important projects over the years. Check out just a few of our completed projects.